Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas Eve!

It's Christmas Eve and I'm almost finished with work. Tomorrow I will be flying to Thailand for my week long Christmas vacation! Ahhh, I thought this day would never come. First, I will be in Bangkok until the 28th and then I fly to Koh Samui until January 1st! This vacation is definitely well deserved, considering I haven't had a day off since Chuseok in September. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! Cheers to 2011~! Hoping it is as amazing as 2010~!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I haven't posted on here in such a long time! Just wanted to let everyone know what I've been up to. Here's a few photos from the past month ^^

Thanksgiving dinner sans oven...not bad if I do say so myself. But nothing compares to the parentals turkey and stuffing!

Out at Zen Bar in Hongdae

Ice cream fondue at Hagen Daz. As if the ice cream, fruit and bites of cheesecake and brownies weren't delicious enough- they all get dipped in hot chocolate sauce

Michelle came to visit from Japan ^_^ Us in Insadong!

Bukchon Hanok Village- worth getting lost

Mirror shot with identical cameras and Christmas colored scarves

Late night noraebang

One of my favorites- Sunny in her pink outfit- fur coat included. She was also wearing a tiara but decided to take it off because I kept calling her princess (she insisted she wasn't one)

Matthew. He's the newbie in Apple class. Loving the homemade reindeer ears obviously!

Monday, December 20, 2010

too close for comfort

There are only 5 days until Christmas. Due to Korea's current events, my Christmas spirit is dwindling. Instead of enjoying myself while my students draw Christmas cards and sing Christmas carols- I am anxious and unsettled. Today South Korea followed through with their planned military drills on Yeonpyeong Island; a South Korean island in the Yellow Sea- bordering North Korean territory. North Korea threatened 'deadly retaliation' causing a very tense day for all. (Remember people- Seoul is only 120 miles away from Pyongyang) Seoul has been my home for 10 months- and the thought of war breaking out in this country is devastating. Koreans live with the threat of the North on a daily basis- living here and actually experiencing their fear right along with them is something words can't describe. As selfish as it sounds, I would really like to be back in the Christmas spirit and to look forward to my Thailand vacation. This week should be about Santa, peace and happiness; not bombs.

In the words of John Lennon, "Give peace of a chance."

Here's a really informative article for all to understand what's going on.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

snack time!

This is one of my kids all-time favorite snacks- fried ramyeon noodles flavored with seasoning.

It comes in a few different flavors- chicken, sausage, spicy and what looked like steak. I tested out the chicken flavor...

First, you have to break up the noodles- it's easy to do between two hands but some children like to violently beat the bag on a chair or desk. Once the noodles are broken you add the delicious, sodium filled flavor package. And last, you close the bag and shake it up so the delicious powder is distributed evenly. There are many times when I walk into the classroom and there are noodles and powder everywhere from the process of putting this snack together.



Every time we go on a field trip, the kids always bust these snacks out of their bookbags and start ferociously shaking them up and passing microscopic pieces of noodles out to their friends. The noodles are pretty tasty and addicting, but I wouldn't say it was worth the 410 calories per bag.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


In-spite of the current events (which are just a little bit unsettling...) I made an incredible dinner. I love cooking, but it has been really difficult cooking here without an oven and with only a small pot and a pan. I've been aching for some soup (one that is not flavored with octopus, anchovies or small dried shrimp) and recently purchased a massive amount of beans at the foreign food market in Itaewon. I bought lentils and split peas. So tonight, I whipped up some lentil stew. It was supposed to be soup- but I forgot how much lentils soak up all the liquid...guess I added too many?

the end result

It turned out better than expected. Sometimes, there is nothing better than a hot bowl of soup (or I guess stew?) and bread for dippage.

The new time change is really making it difficult to talk to everyone at home. It's 11PM now and only 9AM in Maryland and I'm already exhausted and could barely make it through skyping with my mom and dad. I didn't realize an hour would make such a difference!

night everyone! xoxo

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Yesterday, Haley took me to a cafe called Bauhaus in Hongdae. This was not your ordinary cafe. Bauhaus is a dog cafe. You walk inside and you think you are stepping into a kennel. Walk through the puppy fence and you have at least 20 dogs barking and running towards you. You sit down in a big, comfy booth and are immediately attacked by dogs of all sizes. This would totally not fly in the US.

There are about 15 or so dogs that live in the cafe but people often bring their dogs to Bauhaus to hang out and play with others. The cafe also has babysitting.

Entrance to this cafe is free but you are required to order one drink. I got a peppermint tea but was way more excited about being around dogs for the first time in 9 months. At first, it made me a bit homesick and I was really starting to miss my dogs at home. Then I looked around and realized 1. there are dogs running around on the tables 2. people are eating and drinking while dogs are peeing on the walls around them (no worries- employees immediately cleaned it up) and 3. these dogs don't understand English. It was weird to see that the dogs in this cafe didn't recognize "good boy" or "sit." I wonder if they realized we looked different?

Dog cafe-such a great concept, and was worth every slobbery second.

When In Doubt...

My dinner tonight (thanks to Trish for the idea) it was so quick and easy!

Stir fried tofu, oyster mushrooms, red pepper and onion with a peanut-garlic-chili-soy sauce. YUM.

The picture doesn't do it justice, I could have licked the pan.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Twin Day

black&white apples

green kiwis

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pepero Day!

Happy Pepero Day!

It's Pepero Day, people! Pepero (빼빼로) is a cookie stick coated in chocolate. Pepero Day is a bit like Valentines Day, but instead of cards everyone gives pepero to their friends, families and teachers. The special date 11/11 resembles four sticks of pepero.

Weeks before this glorious day the stores became packed with pepero of all shapes and sizes-gigantic pepero, pepero dipped in pink chocolate, heart shaped pepero and all of them are decorated with lovey dovey phrases like "I'll never find someone like you. I'm promise, It's true. Just your smile." (not a typo.)

Alrighty then.

My kids gave me tons of pepero today, and as of right now I'm in a pepero coma. I think I'll be staying away from it for the rest of my time here.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Many of the kids at school get perms. Even the 6 year olds. Their hair goes from being pin straight to luscious waves. In Seoul, fashion/beauty is really no joke- it starts at a young age. Heres an example:

Before the perm...
After...already resembling a k-pop star

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Happy Birthday Moomoo! Wish I could be there to celebrate with my favorite Chip + Dale. A few kids wanted to wish you a happy birthday...

"Happy Birthday Hannah Teacher's grandmother!" love- Kiwi Class

Only a few short months until I will be home! Enjoy a pint of Hagen Daz for me :)
Love you and miss you so much!

big hugs and kisses

Monday, November 1, 2010


I've always been a huge fan of ramen. Its fast, cheap and delish but my love for it has extended since living in Seoul. Ramyeon 라면 is found EVERYWHERE in this country. There are at least 20 different kinds at any variety store. Usually you can find people eating ramyeon in and out of these convenient stores at all times- including breakfast. At every store there is boiling water, so you can eat your ramyeon instantly. At the grocery store there is an entire isle dedicated to the noodles. Although it's loaded with calories and sodium, its hard to resist late at night or after a long night of drinking. Most of the ramyeon is spicy but you can find a variety of flavors including beef, chicken, kimchi (of course), spaghetti, and my latest discovery... CHEESE. May be even better than kraft dinner. looove.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Feeling

Weekend trip to Seoraksan National Park located in eastern South Korea. The third highest mountain in the country.

Enjoy. xx

Bronze Buddha of Sinheungsa

hand + bird
fall leaves

cable car
ajumas kickin' ass

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Power of Kimchi

There is a 'cabbage crisis' in Korea. Shut the front door. The country is running out of cabbage. Who would have thought this would be so devastating? Heads of napa cabbage are going for $10-$14 each due to the mass amount of rain we've had in the past couple of months. Usually a head of cabbage is around $4. This is a disaster for the country because Koreans, literally, cannot live without their kimchi. Apparently, a man outside of Seoul was arrested for stealing 10 heads of cabbage-now that is dedication.

Kimchi usually consists of cabbage, which is fermented in chili paste and garlic. It is a side dish (banchan) that is served everywhere, at every meal- for free. It is even available to the kids at lunchtime. I think it is their favorite part of their lunch. Koreans are obsessed with the stuff. They eat it hot or cold, in soup or mixed with rice. Instead of smelling coffee in the morning when I walk into the office- what do I smell? You guessed it- fermented cabbage.

I'm not going to lie- I like the stuff; but Korea better get their hands on some cheaper cabbage soon- otherwise, we're in for some real problems.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


On Sunday, I stumbled across a petting zoo full of deer in Seoul Forest. Conveniently, there is deer food for purchase and you can casually feed and pet the deer that are behind a metal fence. Sad for the deer, but win for everyone else.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I was unsure whether or not I was going to attend Global Gathering a few weeks ago, but I am so glad I did. Global Gathering is a massive electronic music festival which tours around the world. I was never a huge fan of electronic music but this show blew me away. With great artists like Fatboy Slim, Justice and Armin Van Buuren-it was well worth the money. On Saturday we prepared ourselves with a little galbi and soju around 3pm and 5 hours later arrived at the show. Twelve hours had gone by since I had left and I stumbled into my apartment (around 4AM), body aching and with a new collection of glow sticks. Here's a few pics from the night: